Building a Brand: The Concept Behind Branding.
Building a Brand: The Concept Behind Branding.
I’d ask you to close your eyes and picture any logo that pops into your head by just reading the word “logo.” That, my friends, is the brilliance behind branding. The goal of most major corporations is to establish a brand that becomes a house-hold name, synonymous with a product or activity. It’s how they identify themselves amongst their competition and a great way to fuel the long-term success of your company. Therefore, let’s take a moment and chat about how important it is for a small business or start-up company to give their logo, name brand and image a serious look and what that means to you.
It all starts with a logo that makes you unique.
The Golden Arches of McDonalds and Nike’s “swoosh” are two prime examples of how important a logo can be to branding. You can see both images in your head and maybe even rattle off their commercial jingles. A logo is considered the flagship emblem of the brand. A clean, concise, well thought out logo is like the foundation to your home. In order to build upon it, you have to make sure it’s solid. Your logo should be designed to fit your company’s overall “feel and vibe,” yet easy and recognizable enough to become memorable and attached to your business. Without a good logo, you’re building a house on shaky ground. Honestly, if you don’t loose sleep over your logo design, your head’s not in the right place!
Establish a catchy phrase or buzz word.
“Just Do It.” Bam! Simple and catchy, yet so entrenched with Nike as a brand, that the phrase leads the mind to Nike when you see or hear it. That’s the power of a well thought out and creative slogan that accompanies your logo. Back in my day “Where’s the Beef?” was a powerhouse for Wendy’s to propel how their burger was bigger than the other fast food chains. Being able to adapt your logo, business and brand into a lifestyle or mindset will often lead you to the right slogan. You’ll know when it hits because it’s easy to say, flows effortlessly and everyone nods and smiles when it connects. Again, as a way to establish what makes you different from the rest, being able to have a memorable slogan will make your branding initiatives roll a little smoother. Trying to establish a logo to a company name without a slogan is going to be an uphill battle. Just Do It.
Being able to brand a product that is from your business specifically is a big win.
This is a tightrope to walk when it comes to branding your business. Basically, it’s figuring out how to make a common item that your competition offers, different. Big Mac is a double hamburger; The Whopper is a single (but comes in a double, just not like the Big Mac.) Then you add Dave’s Double Stack, Rally’s Big Double, the flame-broiled Baconator… so on and so on. Every single one of these are hamburgers; however, you can identify where each are from. That’s the power of branding your product. Being able to put your own touch on a product and then naming it something associated with your business is branding your business the right way. The business you go to when you crave a good burger shows how effective all of the above are.
Market your small business in a way that makes your logo, brand name and slogan totally jive together.
In the ideal scenario, when you start a new business, you should have already established a logo, registered a company name, maybe trademarked a slogan and developed a few “stable” products that will flagship your company. Establishing the most effective way to market these together in a way that makes your company stand out amongst the rest is the magic lever behind the curtain; it’s the great wizard. When you corral these components into a “company image,” this is where the magic happens. It’s what makes any three of the components – the logo, slogan or unique product – recognizable to the consumer. It’s that obscure Nike commercial that has no sports references but flashes the logo at the end, and it all just makes sense.
There is no real science to what works best, and it takes time, patience, calculated risk and persistence.
There have been a ton of great businesses that have fallen by the wayside for one reason or another. They have a great brand, recognized labeling and proven track record, yet they fall short from becoming a household name brand. You can guarantee, it wasn’t for a lack of trial and error, risk taking and strategic attempts to rejuvenate the image. Some things “click” and resonate with people a lot easier than others. Making sure you spend the time needed to secure a solid logo, create an image that “pops” (and you feel it) and then picking one of your products to put on the proverbial pedestal are all foundation blocks towards brand building a solid business. Ba-da-daaa dat daaaa… I’m loving it. Gotcha!